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Camelot Unchained

Camelot Unchained emphasizes horizontal progression, won't rule out story

Betas, Fantasy, Historical, Game Mechanics, Interviews, Lore, Previews, PvP, News Items, PvE, Camelot Unchained

Welcome back to our coverage of City State Entertainment's batshit-crazy days for Camelot Unchained! A few weeks ago, we spoke with CSE co-founder Mark Jacobs about each of the topics being revealed this week via livestream; this afternoon, on the last and final day of BSC, let's tackle character power and progression.
Massively: We're curious about how, exactly, the vertical progression will keep new players competitive. After the initial rush, new players will spend a long time being less powerful than their player enemies. What exactly is the benefit to creating the equivalent of a long level grind in a PvP game that lacks PvE? Isn't the team worried that power discrepancy might cause newcomers to wash out the same way raid gear or levels might in a game with both PvE and PvP?

CSE's Mark Jacobs: Not at all. First, the horizontal nature of this game means that while the veteran player will have some scaling in his stats and abilities, the difference will be a lot less than in any MMORPG I've played. Please keep in mind one of the things I said during our Kickstarter, which is that I want a new player to be able to meet a veteran (just for example, say a six-month one) on the field in a 1:1 match. The new player needs to know he has a chance of either winning or at least putting up a good fight. Now, compare that to any other MMORPG that has meaningful PvP or RvR, and can you say the same thing? I know it wouldn't be true in any I have played.

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Camelot Unchained's territory control isn't just for uberguilds

Betas, Fantasy, Historical, Game Mechanics, Guilds, Previews, PvP, News Items, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained, MMORPG

Welcome back to our coverage of City State Entertainment's batshit-crazy days for Camelot Unchained! A few weeks ago, we spoke with CSE co-founder Mark Jacobs about each of the topics being revealed this week via livestream; this afternoon, we're examining the RvR map and territory control.
Massively: Taxes and maintenance costs are absolutely necessary to keep territory from being owned by absent players, but if they're too burdensome, they can prevent people from wanting to claim or improve land at all, figuring that a richer guild will do it. How does the team plan to solve that problem?

CSE's Mark Jacobs: Balance is always a PITA, and this is a perfect example. There is no magic formula to solve this problem, but one thing I will say is that while money may not buy happiness, it may also not buy a piece of land. Just like crafters, players will not be able to simply have money dumped on them by an alt, friend, etc. and then be able to buy whatever land they want. They will have to earn the right to buy it, and that won't happen Launch Day +1 (or 2 or 3).

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The Daily Grind: What upcoming MMO are you giving a second look?

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Sandbox, Camelot Unchained, Subscription

Up to this point I've been pretty meh about Camelot Unchained. It's nothing personal, I always enjoy Mark Jacobs' game development perspectives, but to be frank neither Warhammer Online nor Dark Age of Camelot held my attention for more than a month. Blame Star Wars: Galaxies, I guess.

Then I started reading some of these "batshit crazy" CU reveals and now I'm thinking that this game might be for me. I'm saying "might" because I've followed this genre long enough to take grandiose design docs with a grain of salt. But hey, at least I'm hooked and will keep reading, right? What about you, Massively readers? What upcoming MMO are you giving a second look?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

Camelot Unchained plans a robust, anti-mule crafting economy

Betas, Fantasy, Historical, Economy, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Crafting, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained, MMORPG

Welcome back to our coverage of City State Entertainment's batshit-crazy days for Camelot Unchained! A few weeks ago, we spoke with CSE co-founder Mark Jacobs about each of the topics being revealed this week via livestream; this afternoon, we're digging into my personal favorite: crafting and economy.
Massively: I just wrote about a game with excessive recovery time for crafters, likewise implemented for economic reasons, and wow, players hate those restrictions. Doesn't introducing (I'm going to say it) "designed downtime" for crafters encourage crafter mules and arbitrarily interfere with the natural economy? Aren't there more organic ways to slow down crafting? Why allow combatants to fight 24/7 but not allow crafters to craft equivalently?

CSE's Mark Jacobs: It's a really good question and a definite concern for us. My feeling was that I wanted to create a system where crafters don't have to sit around, crafting 24/7 in a manner that could lead to carpal tunnel. Other games, including Dark Age of Camelot, were more like that. Crafters shouldn't have to sit around and simply click-click-click, etc. The comparison isn't totally correct though, because combatants have downtime to recover their health or power, during travel, etc. (especially in an RvR MMORPG), while crafters can sit in a shop and use the Vox Magus to craft.

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Camelot Unchained's UI powered by Chromium, community

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained, Subscription

Camelot Unchained's information dump continues with a brief blurb about the fantasy PvP sandbox's UI. City State says that UIs typically "consume a large amount of developer bandwidth on the design and engineering side," and as such the firm will not only be building CU's UI "out of the web" but it will also be open-sourcing the entire codebase.

The UI is powered by Chromium, and City State has already made the code available on GitHub and is inviting the community to contribute to it (pending developer approval, of course).

Camelot Unchained will feature a customizable 'component combat' system

Betas, Fantasy, Historical, Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, News Items, PvE, Camelot Unchained, MMORPG

CU
Welcome back to our coverage of City State Entertainment's batshit-crazy days for Camelot Unchained! A few weeks ago, we spoke with CSE co-founder Mark Jacobs about each of the topics being revealed this week via livestream; this morning, we picked his brain about the game's innovative combat system.
Massively: Can you explain why the component combat system and player design of combat abilities doesn't render the concept of classes moot?

CSE's Mark Jacobs: Absolutely! Think of the combat system in the same way you would magic. As a member of a certain Realm, you might not have access to particular components, whether for magic or melee combat. Further, your class might have further restrictions in terms of combinations of components. For example, the HelBound will be able to use some healing components that pure fighter classes can't, but they won't have access to the vast majority of magical components.

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Camelot Unchained isn't 'recreating WoW' with its magic system

Betas, Fantasy, Historical, Business Models, Classes, Culture, Game Mechanics, Interviews, Previews, PvP, News Items, PvE, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained, MMORPG

Welcome back to our coverage of City State Entertainment's batshit-crazy days for Camelot Unchained! A few weeks ago, we spoke with CSE co-founder Mark Jacobs about each of the topics being revealed this week on the game's livestreams; today, let's talk about making magic.
Massively: When developers use the word "spellbook," visions of meditating into an EverQuest-style spellbook and repeatedly switching commonly used spells come to mind. Far from creating welcome immersion, that spellbook created headaches for casters [enough that SOE changed it]. But CU's spellbook seems more like a cross between an achievement panel and a spell design tool. How else will CU's spellbook improve on the concept?

CSE's Mark Jacobs: First, I think the characterization of the EQ spellbook as a headache for casters is a very personal one. Let's keep in mind that EQ was the most successful MMORPG prior to the coming of WoW [We presume he means in the West -ed], so not everybody could have hated it. In our game, being a caster will come with some disadvantages, and having to deal with a spellbook is one of them. However, it will also come with advantages. Like so many other things in Camelot Unchained, we're not afraid to say players won't love everything. Indeed, as I've said all along, I know that certain things we are going to do will piss off some people.

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Camelot Unchained's use-based stat system will trade grind for immersion

Betas, Fantasy, Historical, Classes, Game Mechanics, Interviews, Previews, PvP, News Items, PvE, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained, MMORPG

Camelot Unchained
This week, the folks at City State Entertainment have a massive game mechanics infodump planned for Camelot Unchained fans as part of its "batshit-crazy" reveal week. A few weeks ago, we spoke with CSE co-founder Mark Jacobs about each of the topics being presented to backers this week on Twitch, so to coincide with today's announcements, we asked about the mechanics of the sandbox's proposed stat system. Enjoy the reveal and the interview!
Massively: Can you explain the thinking behind allowing players to fall into "gotcha" builds, unwittingly creating characters that simply will not perform well in the game? By the same token, does the studio not anticipate the preset classes to result in attendant cookie cutter stat builds?

CSE's Mark Jacobs: We've been very clear from the beginning of the Kickstarter that we are going to allow players to create builds that aren't 'ideal' for their class or even race selection. Now, having said this, we've also been clear we will present plenty of information so they can make informed choices. I want to give players the freedom to play a race/class/stat combination that is not ideal, but to also warn them and give them the ability to read lots of information at the same time. We are also considering giving out a limited respec after creation just in case, for example, you quickly realize trying to play a Luchorpan tank that you made as small and weak as possible wasn't a great idea.

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Camelot Unchained promises 'bat-shit crazy' reveals in May

Betas, Fantasy, Historical, Business Models, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, Promotions, Anniversaries, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained, MMORPG

Camelot Unchained
Camelot Unchained has something big to celebrate today: the first anniversary of its successfully funded Kickstarter bid. According to today's newsletter, City State Entertainment has raised a total of $5.6 million dollars -- $2.6 million from backers and $3 million from investors, including $2 million from studio head honcho Mark Jacobs himself.

How will the studio be celebrating the anniversary? Jacobs revealed via video that during May, CSE will be hosting a multi-day reveal event he's calling "bat-shit crazy days in May." Expect all-day streaming, contests, scoops on major game systems (like magic, crafting, combat, and levels), subscription details, new lore, map discussion, the official name of the game, guys in bunny suits, and flying ducks. Seriously. The video's embedded below!

[Thanks to tipster Guinness!]

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Camelot Unchained dishes on design progress, racial lore

Fantasy, Historical, Game Mechanics, Lore, News Items, Dev Diaries, Camelot Unchained, MMORPG

Camelot Unchained
City State Entertainment's Mark Jacobs has been a busy bee over on the Camelot Unchained blog today, delivering two posts about the game. The first discusses the world editor and progress on the programming front. Writes Jacobs,
We've kicked it up a notch with our combat system. We've now got character stats in the game. We've got more interesting abilities that can apply buffs and debuffs and affect your character's stats. Active effects on the character are passed to the UI layer so you can see what effects are active on your character. Abilities are saved to the database and updates can be pushed straight to the Live or Stable server. Cooldowns are in place and can affect one or more abilities.
The second blog post includes new concept art and a lengthy lore piece on the Caretakers of the Tuatha De Danann. Enjoy both on the official site.

The Game Archaeologist: The danger of expecting lightning to strike twice

City of Heroes, Opinion, Champions Online, The Game Archaeologist, Miscellaneous, Camelot Unchained, Star Citizen, Shroud of the Avatar, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

It's no secret that many of the more successful Kickstarter projects over the past few years have heavily capitalized on player nostalgia, brand names, and former dev gods who are back for another round. The formula for drawing in the big bucks seems to be the following: Take something players hugely loved back in the day, dangle the concept of a sequel (spiritual or otherwise), and promise some measure of iterative improvement.

I once wrote about how we really can't go back again to recreate a particular game experience because it was usually a confluence of several factors that were related to where the industry was then and where you were then. I'm not saying that there isn't value to retro gaming, playing classic MMOs, or involving the past in future development! But there is a danger in how we as gamers become so beholden to our nostalgia that we dare lightning to strike twice -- and we're paying big bucks to see that happen.

But can we? Will it?

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Camelot Unchained discusses resource systems, BOP gear, and housing

Fantasy, Historical, Game Mechanics, News Items, Community Q&A, Sandbox, Crafting, Housing, Camelot Unchained, Player-Generated Content

Camelot Unchained
The Camelot Unchained devs have just released issue seven of their Piercing the Veil series, blog posts dedicated to answering player questions about the upcoming PvP sandbox. The highlights?
  • Not every tree in the game will be harvestable, but the devs are considering (not promising!) a dynamic resource ecosystem.
  • There will be expandable storage, but inventory management annoyances will be downplayed.
  • The team isn't planning NPC cities beyond the starter cities. The players will be creating that part of the world.
  • Bind-on-pickup gear "does not make good sense for [the] game given that all but the starter gear will be crafted, rather than dropped."
  • Housing will differ in format based on whether it's in the open world or safe zones, and you won't need to be a crafter to set up a basic home yourself.
  • Non-stat player clothing will be in the game.
  • The devs will most likely put limits on guild sizes.
  • Solo play will probably be a viable option.
You can read the complete Q&A on the official site.

Camelot Unchained's producer's letter offers concept art, new storefront

Fantasy, Historical, Screenshots, Lore, News Items, Races, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained, MMORPG

CU
Camelot Unchained's April producer's letter begins with an apology; the planned testing scheduled for the end of March was delayed because of goal pushbacks, writes producer Tyler Rockwell. But we're pretty sure you'll forgive the team as Rockwell has uploaded some new bits of concept art of the Giants of the Tuatha Dé Danann. The team is also teasing new and more functional forums as well as a new storefront, which will have "much-requested capabilities such as combining and upgrading pledges."

"We know we need to pick up the pace over the next 5 months in order to hit Alpha on time, and that is our intent," Rockwell vowed.

We've included the concept art after the break; just click the images to enlarge them.

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Camelot Unchained previews the Giant race and Helbound class

Fantasy, Video, Classes, Previews, News Items, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained, MMORPG

Camelot Unchained
A Camelot Unchained update blog penned by City State Entertainment's Mark Jacobs this afternoon provides two bits of eyecandy for fans and backers.

The first is the concept art above, "a teaser for the Giant race of the Tuatha Dé Danann." The second is the video embedded below, which is a first-cut animation test for a Helbound, the game's death-flavored Viking healer class. "Neither the model nor the animation cycles are final yet," Jacobs warns. "In keeping with our intent to always show you folks truly representative models and not ridiculously high-poly count models that won't work for most gamers, this Helbound represents a pretty good approximation of how a Helbound could look in the game at launch."

[Many thanks to tipster Guinness!]

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Camelot Unchained gives a first look at the Viking Jotnar [Updated]

Betas, Fantasy, PvP, Races, Dev Diaries, Camelot Unchained, Subscription

Camelot Unchained
A new producer's letter from Camelot Unchained's Tyler Rockwell is out today with a first look at one of the giant races of the game. The game posted a piece of concept art for its Viking Jotnar as well as an image of a creature found in The Depths dungeon.

Rockwell said that the team has a lot to do over the next month, including integrating a new game designer into the team, developing the Tuatha giant race, and vastly improving the internal testing client so that large-scale battles can happen. The game's scheduled to get Havok physics and collisions added in, allowing for jumping and projectiles to be included in the future.

[Update: Tipster Matthew let us know that CU also uploaded a new developer video. It's after the cut!]

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